Posted January 29th, 2010, 06:54 PM
Bully was recommended to us on this board and we hired him for a full day in Aruba, he was just fantastic, an incredible guide that was top notch from the start to the finish of the day. He let us set the pace, and always made great suggestions, making sure each of us got what we needed! His large ice chest was filled with waters, cokes, beer, and wine! At several points he checked to make sure there was always enough of whatever drinks we were drinking and this impressed me so much. He also stopped to buy some local candy and let us all try it. This man is a sweetheart, smart, informative, and really with-it!
I was in a wheelchair and Bully was able to accommodate me and recommend places where I could experience the wonders of Aruba, such as the caves. I felt completely safe and secure!
First stop was the Jewish Temple, a place where I had been before and I got to light two memorial candles for my parents, a very tender and sweet moment. There was a very grumpy Rabbi there and I got him to let us in and begrudgingly he even opened the store so I could buy something or sentimental value. His grumpy attitude did not even phase us, if anything it added to the mystique of the whole experience.
Next we drove south to the San Nicolas area where we visited Baby Beach which was (in the words of Justin our teenage friend) "gorgeous" and he was describing the water! It was astounding, calm, relatively small amount of people, and just about perfect for beaching, swimming, and snorkeling. We saw Golden Eagles, beatiful Orange and Yellwo birds, and lots of iguana's in blues, greens, and browns. At the Seroe Lighthouse we took beautiful pictures and caught glimpses of the rough sea and volcanic cliffs of the North coast of Aruba.
Now we entered Arikok National Park, a beautiful and wild land filled with Cacti, and lots of Donkeys! We visited the Natural bridges, it was so crowded and filled with tourists flicking their ciggies into the ocean and we wanted to get the heck out of there fast. Next we came to the caves which were awesome, easy to enter and at least one accessible to me hobbling with a cane. These caves were filled with ancient cave drawings and many of them already scribbled on by people who didn't seem to care about them and that is why the caves became closed at night and protected by National Park service emplyees. Then were just magnificent and a must see.
We visited the Ayo Rock formations, although this time I could not climb them but the rest of our crew loved it. Onto the Goldmine/ruin, we visited the old "fake" fort and got some great pics through the various windows. There was so much garbage in the ruin that I hobbled around and picked up the trash and hopefully people who saw me doing this will remember to carry their garbage out! Geesh!
Making our way north up the island, we visited the Alto Vista Chapel, learned of the traditions surrounded by this first Catholic church in Aruba, and even followed their 14 staged of the Cross! KInd of cool for this Jewish girl!
We also visited the California Lighthouse but it was a zoo of people so Bully took us to a place where we could get pictures but be away from the crowds. These types of things of the best reason to hire a great guide like Bully because he know us, knows what the island is like when there are 4 cruise ships in port (yikes) and knows how to get around the masses! Excellent!
Lastly, we made our way through the "Beverly Hills" of Aruba where all the high rise resorts are. Bully took is to several upscale resorts where we were able to scout them out and gather info on them. We also got to stop for a quick swim, impeded by a mass of water sport enthusiast with no sense of children in the water, we left this area pretty quickly. Watch yourselves and you families on these beaches especially when there are so many cruise ships in port!
Last stop was the supermarket where I bought my favorite Cumin cheese and a little Dutch candy. We made it back to the ship with several minutes to spare, and Bully was able to drive me almost to the ship so I did not have to hassle beating off people with my cane!
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi